A New TQ NFT: Come on and Get This Smoke
When it’s been a minute… Man, it’s been a minute. The last 2 years have been different, to say the least. 13 months ago I was sick with COVID-19 for about 3 weeks. By the time I was on my feet enough to leave the house without gasping for air, I was so grateful that I hadn’t noticed something quite different about myself. Man, I couldn’t sing. I mean, I could sing, but what was coming out of my mouth was not what I was hearing.
There was a ringing in my right ear that was constant. It threw me off. I sing a line in the studio and play it back like “Why am I out of pitch?” It was way out… I went on in denial for a while but then I sang the anthem at the Dodger game…
They say the truth will set your ass free. Well, it terrified me.
Something was definitely wrong. I came in out of pitch. When I covered my right ear, it fixed the problem. It was time to see the doctor. This had been going on for over 6 months with no relief. It’s easy to panic in a situation like this but I took the opposite route. I didn’t wanna deal with it so I just stopped singing.
I figured it would leave at some point and when it did, I’d get back to it. Let it take its course. I did “Rose” with Femi last year this time. Took me forever to record that song. Then I went into a period of trying to find a new way. People lose limbs, sight, hearing, and the like all the time and they make a way. People make a way. So if making music is all of a sudden gonna be something difficult for me, how am I going to adapt?
Then I heard a pop…
It was like landing from a long-haul flight. Do you know what happens to your ears? That’s what it felt like. All of a sudden it was clear again. I think I was gonna cry. I was so busy thanking God that I forgot to. The best way to show my gratitude was to hit the lab immediately. Here was my mindset… Life is too short. Here today and gone tomorrow. Too many people have died over the last year and I’m just happy to still be here.
I recorded songs about loving somebody. I’ve watched so many young people lose their lives to violence lately, I wrote songs about what I’d tell them if I had their ear. I wrote 90s inspired R&B. I wrote Reality R&B. Not the young angry kind. I’m not here to spread any more bullshit. I’m talking about real spit from your uncle… when he’s sober… Like, take notes. You feel me?
As I’m coming towards the end of my new album I recognize something disturbing.
Spotify sends us nice little graphics for us to post across social media showing how many streams in how many countries and blah blah blah from the year. For a couple of years, it made me feel good to know that this many people still dig my music. My fans would see these posts and they’d get excited too. Nobody sees the checks though. This is some bullshit. We make less than a penny for a stream. It’s like getting raped and the perpetrator sends you the video for you to post all over the place… and you do it.
Nah man… Fuck that shit this year. Something has to give. People still love music. The people who love my music are my power. Before I turn that over to some platform, I need to use it myself. Shit, with my carer, my fans have played such a big part that I don’t want them to give their power away either. What could we do the switch the game up a little bit but still offer the convenience of people being able to hear the music when and where they want it?
Enter the NFT.
I’m not going into a long dissertation. Google it. I’m not good at explaining it anyway. Plus, it means one thing for another artist. It means something totally different to me. I know my fans. They know me. An NFT is a digital representation of something tangible. It can’t be stolen. Can’t be copied. That “tangible something” can be anything.
I have a lot of stuff. My house is a regular TQ Hard Rock Hotel. You guys were the reason for the “show clothes,” all the plaques, memorabilia from all over the world, and the BTS video. OMG the BTS video that myself and DJ Invizible Man have accumulated over the years. Un-fucking-believable.
There are some of these items that will stay in my house. Some that my children will have long after I’m gone. Some will be donated. Some will be in your house or the house of somebody you sold it to… For which I’ll get a cut. Hustler first and fan second is fine with me. Sounds like me. But the thing is… Some of these pieces will be ridiculous. Somebody is gonna buy one and I’m gonna show up at your favorite spot in your city. Chip in and buy one together and we make our own show… No promoters or gatekeepers or any of the bullshit that normally prevents us from getting together. You get it? 👀
It’s been the driving force behind every move I’ve made. I listened to the Birdman. I listened to E-40 and all the Bay rappers back in the day. I listened to Master P. I didn’t want people owning me. I wanted to be a partner. The music business is upside down for me in the current space, but I love to make new music for you guys. I love to write and perform for you. I have other shit going on so I don’t need to be Bobby Buble’, Feel me?
You guys have lives and children. It can’t be a whole fucking production to hear some new TQ music. At this point, we should be able to take control of this relationship. This is how we do it. These NFTs will fund my new music… I’m sure it’s confusing to some so I’m supplying some links to help further explain. Also, let’s have some open discussion about it. I’ve posted the preview across my social media channels. Jump in the comments and ask any questions you have. I think you’ll be happy about where we can take this. Meanwhile…
Come on and get this SMOKE.